Cholla Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenix, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from September until May.
The actual trailhead is on Cholla Lane, but you can't park there, so you have to find a spot on Invergordon or another side street. Then just follow the masses to the trailhead.
My wife and I are very new to hiking, as in our first ever hike was Piestewa Peak the day before. We found Cholla to be fairly straightforward and simple up to the saddle which I believe was post 25. From there to the summit was quite challenging for us, as it involved mostly scrambling, but it was well worth the views and sense of accomplishment at the summit. The trail was pretty well marked until the scrambling portion where we found ourselves hunting for the best path and asking others which direction to head. That may have been more our inexperience than anything else though.
It is a nice trail with good views in all directions. the trail is well marked... follow the blue dots. the trail can be divided into 2 logical parts. marker 1-25 is an easy hike. marker 25-36 is half hiking and half scrambling. we went in a cloudy day. needed more water. it is called camelback for a reason... wear one. you'll need your hands for the scrambling part. my friend fell on the ledges. stay off the gravel.
Couldn't finish due to a time constraint. But I'm just taking in the scenery.
Loved this trail! Can't wait to do it again!
Always love this trail. Took my friend's daughter and she rocked it. We started at 7am. Was done by 9am. As we got to the end there were a lot of people heading up. It was starting to get pretty warm. I have been hiking most of my life and was always told that people coming down have the right a-way. 95% of people on the trail must not have been raised on that same rule. Many guys almost ran into the 10 year old girl I was with. Sad that dogs aren't allowed on the trail anymore. Be warned there was a copy giving out warning/citations for people that were going on the trail with dogs.
It's a short hike, but beautiful at the top! Small amount of scrambling.
AllTrails: please update to reflect that dogs are no longer allowed on this trail! City of Phoenix mandated that this summer, and people can expect serious fines for bringing their dogs up. Otherwise, this is a fun and reasonably challenging hike. Good short training for things like 14ers.
I did this trail 2 years ago but didn't have time to complete it. Today I finished it and I must say that the view is amazing and definitely worth it.
However, PLEASE BE AWARE, the trail is incredibly poorly marked, to the point of being a safety hazard. The trail is more like bouldering than it is hiking when you get to the last 15 minutes or so. This combined with the poor trail markings is a set up for disaster. So please be patient, make sure your hands aren't full so that you can use them to climb, and don't take risks. Pay attention to the trail.
I hike all the time in Oregon and have done hikes all over the world including Peru and Guatemala and I
Have to say that this made me a little nervous hiking it alone because of the terrain.
Go early in the morning after the sun rises but it isn't quite hot yet. Bring water. And if you take uber like I did, note that they can't pick up and drop off at the trail head so you'll have to meet them at the main road.
Cholla is a little too crowded for me, but as a hike, there is a challenge factor and a corresponding sense of achievement when peaking. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, many people bring children and dogs on this trail when it does get fairly difficult for the last quarter mile. There is almost no parking and there certainly isn't a park-feel to this trail. It's a rewarding hike with great views. I'll have to try the other side next time!
I enjoy Cholla because of the easy parking. I've done this hike multiple times and will continue to do so. It is a little more difficult for dogs to do when you get closer to the top. And stay far away from Camelback in March. Lots of inexperienced hikers and it is very crowded.
you have to park on street and walk a good 5 min to get to the trail
dogs are no longer allowed
very quick rise in elevation
great views of the valley
Great hike and one every resident of the Valley needs to do at least once. I prefer this over Echo Canyon; I like scrambling over boulder hopping. The only thing negative about this hike is the crowds and the parking. Try to get here early and find a good place to park and avoid the crowds by hiking during the week. Best not to hike in the summer, I hiked it in the spring, and it was great. Be careful on the upper portion of the trail and get to the top for a great view!
One of my favorite trails in the area until they banned dogs starting July 1,2016. Parking during busy times can be difficult but an extra quarter mile walk to the trailhead doesn't make much of a difference. Great climb and great views of the city!
Steep and difficult hike...but fantastic to jog up!